When you get behind the wheel of your car, your safety and well-being should be your top priority. While this is no guarantee of preventing an accident, focusing 100 percent on driving — and not engaging almost on “autopilot” in any of the plethora of distractions common to modern drivers — gives you the best possible chance of reaching your destination without incident.
If you’re involved in a car accident, you should immediately move to safety and check yourself for injuries. Also, if there are other people in your vehicle, check them for injuries as well. This is particularly true of small children and elderly individuals.
A car accident can cause many types of injury, with these among the most common:
- Broken bones: Every bone in your body is susceptible to injury in a car accident. From a skull fracture to a broken leg, you should be aware that this injury is extremely common. Common signs of a broken bone include pain, swelling, bruising and a bone that’s protruding from your skin.
- Head injuries: These are among the most serious types of injury, as they can cause long-term health problems. A concussion or traumatic brain injury can occur if your head comes in contact with the steering wheel, windshield or any other object. These injuries require immediate attention, as the sooner you receive treatment the greater chance you have of making a full recovery.
- Back and neck injuries: These types of injuries include but are not limited to herniated disk, vertebrae fracture and neck sprain. If your vehicle is struck from behind, for example, whiplash may occur. This happens when your neck snaps forward and backward as a result of the impact.
- Burns and abrasions: These injuries are not as common, but can occur depending on the type of accident. In a minor fender bender, you’re not likely to suffer either of these injuries. However, if you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you’re more likely to suffer burns and abrasions.
Even if you’re not experiencing any immediate pain after a car accident, you should still receive a medical diagnosis as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as those associated with your brain, don’t present immediate symptoms.
Once you’re stable and recovering, you can then contact your insurance agent and determine which steps you can take to seek compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.